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'Smoke watch' draws Americans in Rome

On purpose and by chance, Americans join crowd in St. Peter's Square to watch for signs of a newly elected Pope

By John Brecher, Sr. Multimedia Editor, NBC News

What do you if you're an American Catholic and you happen to be in Rome during a papal conclave? If you're Angelique Porres, you brave cold, rainy weather and stand in St. Peter's Square to watch for smoke rising from the Sistine Chapel. The opportunity to maybe see a newly-elected pope emerge "is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for us." "The future of our faith is here," she added, "It's everything." Watch this video to see other Americans talk about their encounter with papal history in Vatican City.  Read the full story.

Massimo Percossi / EPA

US faithful hold signs as the wait for the first smoke in Saint Peter Square, Vatican City, 12 March 2013. At right, a woman holds a sign putting forward Len Brennan, a fictional bishop from the TV comedy 'Father Ted', for Pope.

Andrew Medichini / AP

Cardinals from around the world gather in the Vatican to elect the next leader of the Roman Catholic Church.